Keep it simple (French Fridays with Dorie: Vanilla Vegetable Salad)

Can I tell you something?

I really like non-recipe recipes.

They seem to fit in with my "unable to follow instruction" sensibilities.

This week (woo hoo, I am finally back on schedule), French Fridays with Dorie has one of the ultimate non-recipe recipes - vanilla vegetable salad. 

Shave some vegetables (I spiralized my summer squash with the flat blade to get wide curly spirals & shaved my carrots with a vegetable peeler).

Toss shaved vegetables with a dressing of lemon, oil and vanilla (yes, I did say vanilla).

Top with a little fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper.

Throw in a few handfuls of greens (or not).

Done, done and done.

This was about as complicated as I was able to handle this week, so I am grateful to the FFwD powers for lobbing an easy one our way.

I paired the salad (sans greens - even though I had a fresh bunch of arugula in the refrigerator) with a quick dish of sweet potato fried "rice" & shrimp for a tasty, if somewhat eclectic weeknight dinner.

Now, here's the question... Would I make my salad dressing with vanilla again in the future? I am not sure. It tasted fine, but the strong vanilla overtones really threw me for a loop. It might be an acquired thing - I guess I am not there yet.

In other news... autumn has definitely set in up here. The trees are quickly changing over from green to shades of gold and red (its almost as jolting as discovering that first gray hair). I finally realized that if I don't drag myself out apple picking this weekend, I will be depriving myself of that apple crisp that I have been craving for the last 11 months. That would be a shame now, wouldn't it?

Have a great weekend all.

Peace out. 


This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie.


  1. Sometimes a simple recipe just gets you going :D
    This salad would be perfect for lunch time!

    Choc Chip Uru

  2. Go apple picking! Now!

    You know I'm as happy as you or even more for the non recipe this week.

  3. I definitely wouldn't make this one again. Just too weird. Yay for being back on track!

  4. Yeah, loving that this took only a few minutes to throw together...and I was surprised how much I enjoyed the dressing. Now go pick some apples :)

  5. Interesting and easy, just not a favorite. Must say, that shrimp dish looks quite good Cher. Enjoy your apple picking weekend, the weather is gorgeous.

  6. You MUST go apple picking this weekend. I haven't been yet, but will get there. I love the curls in your salad. And I think you're right about the vanilla dressing complementing fruit on a salad. That would be very exotic! Have a great weekend.

  7. My Mother made the most fantastic apple crisp. I still use her recipe and come pretty darn close but, of course, it's not the same nor as good. As a kid, we always picked our apples from a local orchard but there is nowhere to do it here. I am planning to buy a ton tomorrow at our Farmers Market. Your salad looks pretty. Your meal sounded great - Sweet Potato Fried Rice & Shrimp. Yum. Probably won't get to the vanilla salad. Very few were crazy about it.

  8. So strange how the vanilla is subtle to some of us and strong to you and I.

  9. I envy your apple picking Cher! One of my best memories of visiting NY was the wonderful apples. I never knew there are so many varieties! Your salad looks good. We didn't care for it. Have a great weekend!

  10. Your two dishes compliment each other and reflecting the last rays of summer and first colors of fall! Looking forward to your apple crisp post!

  11. I was grateful for an easy one this week too. Apple picking (and the resulting apple crisp!) sounds wonderful right now!

  12. Apple picking! Makes me miss the farm...

    I enjoyed this salad, too, though I can't say I loved it, or it that it was a revelation, or anything like that.

  13. I love the northeast in the fall! Apple picking, pumpkin picking and a gorgeous colorful landscape! One of the prettiest times of the year!
    I was also glad for an easy week…this has been a crazy month for us. I really enjoyed this dressing, and would love to try it over some figs. Something for another day! Your salad does look pretty! Hope you got your apples!

  14. Your sweet potato fried "rice" & shrimp sounds wonderful. We did not love this salad. I agree with your sentiments on apple crisps.

  15. I used my spiralizer on the yellow squash too. I just got one recently, and am loving how quick and easy it is to use. It's hard to believe it's fall already. I'll miss summer, but I'm glad there's apple crisp to soften the blow!

  16. The first gray hair is the worst. I've recently quit coloring my hair and was quite surprised to find more than one gray hair.

    Still working on getting back on FFWD track - this sounds intriguing, but I'm not completely sold on the vanilla yet.

    Wish you could have been at IFBC this year -


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